App Fog Genius Lessons From A Successful Entrepreneur

App Fog Business Startup Lessons from a Lucrative Entrepreneur

Lucas Carlson is a successful startup entrepreneur. When he first started however, he made a few bad choices that almost cost him big time.

Don’t Skip Business Setup Planning

At first he was just programming an idea for App Fog. He didn’t have a landing page, any bank account, brain storming ideas, or thinking about the ideal customers. Skipping key steps really put him back for years. He would program for weeks, and then finish the app idea. Then program for weeks and finish the idea. He couldn’t get people interested in the idea that was created.

Creating a Landing Page

Finally, he decided to create a landing page one night when he was too tired to sleep or even tell his wife about the programming idea. The app idea was PHP Fog. He tried putting it up on a site before that called Heroku.com. He registered the PHP Fog website and just simply wrote “it’s like Heroku for PHP”. Heroku’s site only allowed for Rudy on Rails applications so he couldn’t put the applications on that site.

Living the Dream

The next morning he woke up and had eight hundred people on his website! He didn’t market it anywhere else. All he did was put one link on Hacker News network. Also, he described the website in more depth. It turned out that the idea was a “hair on fire” idea without even the creation of the project! This gave him assurance that if the effort is put in, the results will be desired. After programming for two weeks. he just only had a prototype and the traffic went from 800 to 4,000 unique visitors per day!

Hair on Fire Problem Equals Confidence

He had identified a “hair on fire” problem. This gave him confidence to program the solution. This changed his life forever! He realized the difference between having a problem that people know they have versus the problems that people don’t know they have. PHP Fog wound up being AppFog. It raised $10 billion dollars and was later bought out.

No Marketing Expenses

He didn’t spend a dime on marketing! It wasn’t an accident. People already wanted the idea and were looking for it. He learned that he could find what people already wanted and then program an application based on what they wanted. He wasn’t taking a “shot in the dark” anymore.

Don’t be Intimidated

Creating a landing page or micro-website is very scary for most people. They don’t want to know if others like their great idea or not. There is a denial psychological part to this way of thinking. It can be self-defeating to the creation of an idea. They will think “Well I believe in the idea so much, that I don’t care what other people think about it”. This philosophy will kill a great idea. Put your “right foot first” and see what people need.

Ideation – Where Business Ideas Come From

Ideation is the creative process of generating, developing, and communicating new business ideas. When we plan to launch a new business, we either leverage an existing concept or we develop our own unique idea. The same applies to growing an existing business. I have always struggled with determining which is harder – finding the idea or executing on it.

Sometimes ideas are easy enough to conjure, and the hard part is deciding if it’s good enough as the basis for developing a profitable business. If you have what you believe is a “great idea”, the next challenge is to prove or test that it will translate into a successful venture.

Then there are times when a viable idea is the hardest thing to find. It may seem like all the good ideas are taken, and you are left on the sidelines with the resources and desire to start or grow a business but without a great idea. The ideation process can take a day or it can take years, and as with the creative process, it’s usually unproductive to rush it. Aside from the other typical barriers of resources (money and people), the lack of a “good idea” is often what keeps people from taking action on their dream of becoming their own boss.

Creating a new business starts with the idea. The process of developing that idea, and your business concept, may perhaps include some level of testing through prototyping and iteration. During these early phases your idea will undoubtedly evolve and may even morph into something entirely different. There are three basic categories for business ideas, and considering these categories can help with sparking that next great brainchild or validating your existing one:

New – a new invention or business idea. Examples may include the Segway, Virtual Reality and other product inventions. This is the most difficult category for new business ideas. There are very few truly and completely new ideas. By “new” I mean something that absolutely does not currently nor in the past exist in any way. It’s easy to confuse a new idea with what is really an improvement or disruption of an existing or traditional way of doing something. Truly new and unique ideas are hard to come by, so don’t get paralyzed by thinking this is the only source of viable new ideas.

Improvement – this is the proverbial better mouse trap. Examples include exterior-express car washes (where you stay in the car), Virgin Airlines, LED lighting, and Disney Land. Most small businesses probably fall into this category. You take an existing service or product and you make or deliver it in a better way, either directly or indirectly. You may make it of better quality raw materials, for example, or you may add value to the product or service by including additional services or add-ons.

Disruption – a new and revolutionary way of doing something. Examples include Uber, AirBnB, and Amazon. Our modern interconnected world – supported and made possible by the internet – now allows us to completely reinvent, transform and disrupt entire industries. The internet and other technologies are not the only way to execute on a disruptive business idea, but it has certainly accelerated our ability to do so.
Where do great ideas come from? Sources of ideas can include reading, podcasts, art, architecture, personal experiences, travel, conversations, hobbies, borrowing from others, crowd creativity, crowd sourcing, and attempting to solve existing problems in our world. For existing businesses, the best source of ideas is usually your customers. Yet it takes a bit more than just experiencing or reading something to spark your next great idea.

In the article “How to Generate Good Ideas” by Belle Cooper, Steve Jobs is quoted as sharing that creative people are able to “connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things.” In his observation, creative people consistently have “had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people.”

Consciously and objectively experiencing new things will definitely influence and feed your creative abilities, and it’s one of the most productive ways we can continue to develop our ability to generate great ideas.

Does this mean that you have to be creative to generate good business ideas? I believe creativity is certainly one of the main ingredients required for ideation, along with ingenuity and vision. The challenge for many people, however, is that they either have little confidence in their inherent creative abilities or don’t have the courage to express and tap into it. The idea generation process is much like the creative process in that we are putting forth something personal to be judged by others. You must have the courage and confidence to submit ideas that others might think are frivolous or ridiculous. It’s appropriate to remember what George Bernard Shaw wrote: “all great truths begin as blasphemies.”

The ideal process is to identify one or more business ideas, test them, and then continue with developing the idea that has the best possibility for success. Of course, always remember that the true test of an idea’s business viability ultimately rests entirely with the customer. Also remember that if your concept was easy, it would probably have already been done by someone else.

Some questions to ask yourself to help qualify your business idea:

What need does my product or service fill? What problem does it solve
What are the features and benefits of my offering?
What is my competitive advantage? What makes this idea truly unique in my market?
How do my skills and experience fit with my idea?
How will I be able to test and demonstrate it?
What resources will I need to build this idea into a viable business?
Does my idea solve a billion-person problem, or the problem of just a few?
Can I envision myself executing on this concept for the next 5 to 10 years?

Fallacies About Profitable Business Ideas You Must Ignore

In the course of my study and practice in the field of online business, I have often discovered that folks head into the actualization of their assumed profitable business ideas online with several unrealistic assumptions.

Many have been told that all they need do to setup a profitable business with their ideas online is sign up for a few programs, build a website around them, add a bunch of banners and links onto their site, then sit back and watch the finance roll in without them having to lift a finger.

There is a misunderstanding that when you come online and set up your profitable business with your ideas you will be making large finance within a few days. This is absolute nonsense and even if it has worked for some folks it has not worked for me or for anyone I have come in contact with throughout my online business activities and interactions. The bitter truth is that more folks fail at their online business ideas than those folks who actually succeed.

Newcomers to the world of online venture are oftentimes unaware of the fact that they may actually have to work harder at their home based business than they did at their offline jobs. They are usually not aware of the many hours of selling time that they will need to put in in order to succeed in even the most profitable idea.

On the other hand most folks that are new to online marketing also make the deadly mistake of thinking that a single strategy will be enough for them to succeed in building a profitable business online. Of course, some avenues will produce improved results than others, but in my understanding, the best course of action is to adopt a broad based approach to your ideas for a business. This can be done by spreading your time and resources through several different methods and approaches.

If you are new to online business, it is a strong first step to take a course to find out what is required of you to be profitable with those particular online business ideas. There are so many top business ideas out there and it does not matter what type you are beginning, if it is online, it must be marketed online, and as may be needed from time to time, offline as well.

I am always amazes how often folks that commence business with some top business ideas actually believe that they can get rich by doing absolutely nothing, or at least with very little effort. It is true that the internet acts as a leverage for our efforts but thee is a limit and that limit has to be understood. Sometimes i wonder why folks would believe in this “something for nothing” theory. My conclusion is that they believe because they desire to believe. They believe because they see folks who advertise profitable business ideas everyday and everywhere on the internet and thus believe that it is possible. They not only desire to believe it, for their own reasons, but they need to believe it because the delusion makes them feel good.

From my experience i have observed that you need to give yourself at least a few months to make money from even the most profitable online business, get some hold and thus commence to generate some reasonable revenues from you ideas for a business. The proper mindset is for the beginner to think long term as opposed to crave instant gratification.

I am often appalled to see the number of folks who drop out of business even with top business ideas, after the first month or two and I ask myself, what do they expect, a truck load of finance slashed out behind the computer monitor? Most folks wouldn’t bail out of offline venture after a month yet they expect an online business to be any different.

In addition to the fallacy of instant riches without any effort, from your ideas for a business, the expectation of having a free ride is a frequent fallacious assumption of many that desire to commence business with their ideas. You must not be afraid, or unwilling, to invest a little finance to commence your own venture especially if it is a profitable business ideas which you must have competition. If you desire to make money online from any profitable business idea, you must also be willing to invest into it not only in terms of time but in cash. That is as plain and easy as it is.